By Alexander Bolton - 03/24/10 05:13 PM EDT
Republicans have blocked Senate committee hearings for a second consecutive day to
protest moving healthcare fixes under special budget rules.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) asked for consent to hold a hearing Wednesday afternoon but Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) objected. Burr said he was acting on behalf of Republican colleagues.
Democrats blasted their GOP colleagues for obstruction, adding to the partisan tension that has built up in the upper chamber, which is traditionally known for collegiality.
“What a ridiculous notion that we’ve got to come beg the minority party so we can have a hearing on the police contracting in Afghanistan,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), chairwoman of the Homeland Security Committee Contracting Oversight Subcommittee.
The Republican objection derailed a Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Goodwin Liu to be a judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Senate Republicans’ tactics of obstruction and delay know no limit,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.).
“Senate Republicans continue their ill-advised protest of meaningful health reform legislation by exploiting parliamentary tactics and Senate rules, to the detriment of the American people and, in today’s instance, at the expense of American justice,” Leahy said.